Purple Haze Feedback is a Japanese light novel which is part of the “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” series by Hirohiko Araki. The book itself is written by Kouhei Kadono, who writes regularly writes in a series titled “Boogiepop”. In September 2011, Purple Haze Feedback was written as part of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 25th Anniversary project, “VS JOJO.”. This series featured light novels from authors aside from Hirohiko Araki which created their own additions to the series. The story is unofficially in English by an individual known as “Buddy Waters”. With this in mind, it does have several typos, but I personally don’t hold it against them, as the service of translating the book far outweighs a few grammar errors, in my opinion. Note that this review will have some light spoilers for those who haven’t read the manga.
The novel serves as an unofficial continuation of the 5th Part of JoJo, “Vento Aureo”, which is set in Italy. It follows Pannacotta Fugo, a side character who disappeared after the events of Vento Aureo. The book, despite its questionable continuity, attempts to flesh out his character. There is more emotional background for the characters, such as when Fugo questions his loyalty to Passione (the gang he is associated with) after his past decisions with them.
The book feels like the source material, as Fugo goes through Italy in a road-trip style adventure. As the journey continues, Fugo ponders his loyalty to the gang he once swore allegiance to, and the truth of why Giorna Giovanna, the main character of Vento Aureo, sent him on the mission which encompasses the plot of the book. The tension from the source manga is replicated well in the book, as Fugo and his squad face danger from all angles, even from their own gang should they fail.
Araki’s illustrations throughout the book add to the feel of the story, which wouldn’t be JoJo without a few poses at the end of every chapter. Similar to the manga, the character designs speak volumes of their personality, and the book is no exception. For instance, a description of Angelica’s appearance and condition is fine, but the image of her sickly appearance drives the point home.
The book isn’t without its flaws, of course. In one particular scene, the book obviously forces a relation with one of the characters with a side character from JoJo Part 4: Diamond in Unbreakable. This particular bit of exposition came across as forced, and doesn’t seem to be of any relevance to the plot.
Overall, this is a decent supplemental reading for a fan of the base series who wants a bit more material for the characters they love. It’s up to the reader whether or not to accept it as canon, as Araki had nothing to do with the work aside from the illustrations, but the continuity is solid enough to consider it believable. It’s a shame that the anime/manga light novel market is small in the US, otherwise we could see official translations of the material.